On August 4th, Shawn & I drove over to Dallas/Ft. Worth with Josh so that we could spend some time with him ALONE without other kids. Of course the kids wanted to go, and we left poor Joey bawling his eyes out, but it had to be done. We feel we had a great time with each other. We stayed at Fairfield Inn by Marriott by the airport. I had always heard rumors that all the Marriotts had Book of Mormons placed in the bedside table, and sure enough, it had one! Josh thought that was pretty cool. We took Josh to the Cabela's in Ft. Worth, and then ate at Cheddars. On our way back to the hotel, Josh was just amazed how many planes were landing at the airport. One after one, they came in, and for someone who has never been to a major airport before, or have even flown, I guess one could be amazed. Josh and I didn't sleep well that night because 1) I forgot my earplugs and 2) I had to listen to Josh complain. Why? Because of Shawn's snoring. Pretty bad. But we all managed to get a few hours of sleep. We woke up about 6am to get ready. The hotel shuttle was taking us to DFW at 7:30.
When we arrived, Josh quickly noticed another young man in a suit in our line, and asked him if he was also a missionary. Turned out he was, and will be serving in the GA Atlanta Mission. As we made our way upstairs to the security checkpoint, we saw a group of Elders & Sisters, and possibly the President and his wife of the TX Dallas Mission. They were sending off missionaries to go home. Josh and Spencer (the other Elder) were excited to see them, and enjoyed exchanging greetings, and telling them where they were all going, and where they were from. I then took the last Father/Son picture for 2 years...
And then Josh got in line. I hate that I couldn't go back with him, but it was probably better anyway. I may have started bawling when I saw him board the plane. He did a quick pose...
And then with his shoes, belt and coat off, went thru the metal detectors. He got his stuff back on, said good-byes to the other elders who were leaving to different gates (with their 10 gallon hats on... serious, no joke! It was cute though!), and then he looked back at us, and waved & grinned. What a cute son he is, and I know he will do well.
After he arrived in SLC, my cousin Chip and wife, Stephanie picked him up. They have 4 children, and their oldest, also named Josh, is serving in the CT Hartford Mission. They let him call me a few times to tell me good-byes as they headed to Provo. He also said there were 4 other missionaries on his flight, and they all had a good time visiting. They stopped at the new Mt. Oquirrah (?) Temple. The temple just closed on August 1st from the open house. It's being prepared now for the dedication in a few weeks. The temple president just so happen to come outside, and see them walking around, taking pictures, and allowed them to go in the temple to take a tour! Chip & Stephanie had already been before, but Josh had not, so I thought that was really cool! They took him to 5 Guys Burgers (?) in Provo, and then they dropped him off. I am so glad that they could do this for me. I have never met Stephanie, but I feel I have a new friend. She has called me several times, and I have enjoyed speaking with her! I hope I will be able to post more pictures of Josh throughout the next 2 years, but it just depends what he sends me. I do have his address though. I think he leaves August 25th, but it could be the 18th. Not really sure how long English-speaking missionaries stay...
Elder Joshua A. Miller
Idaho Pocatello Mission
2005 N. 900 E.
Provo, UT 84604-1793